Case Study: Harrow: making refurbishment better

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Case Study: Harrow: making refurbishment better

With the localisation of business rates being implemented over the coming years the importance of the local economy to councils will greatly increase, therefore providing a greater focus to local businesses through social value is essential.
– Terry Brewer, Divisional Director of Procurement, Harrow and Brent Council

Harrow Council refurbishes numerous of its properties a year. The work is both necessary and desirable for its own sake, both to reduce the waiting list for housing and to bring down carbon emissions. But the Local Authority wanted to see if it could maximise the benefits of the work through making use of “social value” (SV), looking beyond the price of each individual contract and selecting would-be contractors based on the “extra” benefit they could offer to the impacted community.

So, in collaboration with Social Value Portal, Harrow selected a representative renovation project to carry out a pilot study. The remit of the work was to install external wall insulation, refurbish the inside of the property and install electrical services. Here at the Portal, we used our SV assessment tool as part of the tender process.

Each bidder successfully completed the assessment, with offers varying from +3 to +57% / £51,000 to £780,000 social value-add (SVA). This is the total above and beyond the requirements of the core contract. Because the process was well managed, it didn’t add to the actual delivery costs of the project and now Harrow is examining how SV-enabled bidding can be used in all contracts above £100,000.

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